Thanks to /u/dramfine for this dram.
Cadenhead Robust Smokey Embers 25 is a blended malt of Ardbeg, Bowmore, & Caol Ila. All of them were vatted together in a second maturation for four years in a 2nd fill Sherry Hogshead. This is batch numero 3.
I mean, do I need to say more here? Really? It’s three Islay malts of decent age blended together and aged more in a sherry cask.
I guess I should review it. Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: € 150
Cask type: Sherry Hogshead Finish
Cask Number: Batch No. 3
Colour: 5YR 3/6
Nose: Jelly beans, roast peach, campfire, varnish
Sweet hits you right off the bat, and you’re happy that they used a second fill. It’s almost like those guys at one of the oldest Independent Bottlers knows what they are doing.
Obvious peat that’s developed some nice woody notes, and it spreads to create this roasted/stone fruit note. Very good balance of malt influence and sherry here. I’m kinda hoping for a bit more on the nose, to be honest. Not getting as much as I’d hope for an older blend.
Taste: Anise, roast veggies, jelly beans, banana, grassy papaya
There we go, some complexity springs up from the taste. Good grassiness notes, more of that sharp sweetness and fruit, and some tropical elements going on. Really fun to dissect the different fruit/grassy and peat elements. Good balance on the taste. I feel like I’m missing a bit of what this has to offer with the non-cask strength (an assumption that they watered it down, of course, may have been lower due to time in the cask of the original whiskies).
Finish: Peach juice, plantain, oak, caramel, lemongrass The finish has this lovely fruitiness mixed with grassy, tropical and herbal. Again I feel it’s a bit weaker here and I’m missing some aspects, however certainly it is nice to sip on, so I can’t complain.
Conclusion: Wish it had more going on in the nose and was a bit stronger. Which really is my way of saying I enjoyed it quite a bit but wanted a bit more than I felt was just a bit out of reach. This would be a perfect whisky to have on hand to pour for special occasions, given the lower price but the nice overall dram.
Which I think is what I want from higher-end blends at the end of the day. This really would be a better pick up than most ones on the market. Did it do everything I wanted? No, but it certainly did a lot.
Scotch review #1243, Blend review #106, Whisky Network review #1896